The 11th meeting of the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) took place in Oslo, Norway from 27 to 29 September 2017.
The heads of 48 tax administrations took part and the Treasury Minister of Argentina was also present: Argentina takes over the Presidency of the G20 for 2018 from Germany which held the Presidency in 2017.
Edward Troup, Executive Chair of HMRC, stood down as chair of FTA at the end of the meeting. The new Chair is Hans Christian Holte, Commissioner of the Norwegian Tax Authority.
The meeting focused on three interlocking themes:
The Agenda for the three days of meetings is included in the Communiqué.
Tax Administration 2017
The Changing Tax Compliance Environment and the Role of Audit
Shining Light on the Shadow Economy: Opportunities and Threats
BEPS Action 13 CbC Reporting: Handbook on Effective Implementation
BEPS Action 13 CbC Reporting: Handbook on Effective Tax Risk Assessment
We have provided hyperlinks to the various documents which can be read on screen or bought in soft/hard copy. In fact at the time we accessed the OECD website (Friday 29 September at 3 pm) the final three publications were available for downloading without charge.
International compliance assurance programme (ICAP)
This programme is part of the work on increasing tax certainty and the Communiqué indicates that OECD is setting up an ICAP pilot scheme in seven countries, Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The click-through provides more information. ICAP will be “a voluntary programme that will use CbC Reports and other information to facilitate open and co-operative multilateral engagements between MNE groups and tax administrations, with a view to providing early tax certainty and assurance.”
And the ICAP voluntary process will be “available to large MNE groups headquartered in participating jurisdictions. The application process may vary by jurisdiction, but an MNE group which wishes to participate will be asked to identify participating jurisdictions where it has activity and that it wishes to be included in a multilateral risk assessment. Tax administrations in these jurisdictions will then confirm whether they agree to participate in ICAP for that MNE group, taking into account factors such as the group's presence in their jurisdiction and its risk profile. The multilateral risk assessment conducted under ICAP will not cover all of an MNE group's tax issues but will focus on those associated with transfer pricing, permanent establishments and any other material international issues agreed between the group and participating tax administrations.”
Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC)
JITSIC was set up in 2004 as the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre but changed to its current name, keeping the same initials, at the 10th meeting of the FTA and its membership was increased to 37 countries: it originally had only four members. The present Communiqué notes the purpose and recent work of JITSIC as “to provide a highly effective mechanism for bringing together tax administrations to respond to new global compliance risks and to collaborate on individual cases. The JITSIC work on the Panama Papers has resulted in a better understanding of evasion and avoidance arrangements, especially the role of intermediaries in these arrangements, improved exchange of information practices and an agreed collaborative approach to any future data leaks.”
The important work on building the capacity of the tax administrations in developing countries Tax Inspectors without borders continues to play an increasing role as well as work OECD carries on through the Platform for Collaboration on Tax which also involves the UN, IMF and the World Bank. The Communique also notes that “a new platform has been developed by the Canada Revenue Agency, the Knowledge Sharing Platform (KSP), which allows learning tools and material to be disseminated more easily, and provides a one-stop shop to connect tax officials from around the world.”